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Floristic composition and altitudinal distribution of vascular epiphytes in the Ombrophilous Dense Forest of the Prata Mountain Range, Morretes, Paraná State, Brazil

The floristic survey of vascular epiphytes was done in the northern part of the Prata Mountain Range (48º 41' 59.39" W and 25º 36' 46.39" S), Morretes municipality, comprising 6.3 ha of a slope between 400 and 1,100 m a.s.l., covered by submontane and montane Atlantic Rainforest. The aims of this study were: 1) characterize the vascular epiphytic flora; 2) discuss the species distribution along the slope and in ecological categories; 3) evaluate the floristic similarity among the study area and other forests of South and Southeastern Brazil. The present survey was carried out between 2005 and 2010. One hundred twenty phorophytes were climbed and closely examined. Two hundred seventy-eight species, 109 genus and 30 families of vascular epiphytes were recorded. Pteridophytes comprised 74 species, 30 genus and 10 families. Angiosperms comprised 204 species, 79 genus and 20 families. The vascular epiphytic richness was the highest registered in studies of Atlantic Rainforest in South Brazil. Seven species were the first records for the Paraná State and six are threatened considering the Paraná state official list of endangered species. Orchidaceae was de richest family, with 103 (37.2%) species and 43 (39.1%) genus, followed by Bromeliaceae (38), Polypodiaceae (28), Hymenophyllaceae (15), Araceae (14) and Piperaceae (14). The holoepiphytes were the dominant group, comprising 83% of the total. Only 54 (19.5%) species were recorded in all altitudinal belts. Other 131 (47.3%) species were recorded only under the 700 m a.s.l. and 54 (19.5%) were found just above the 800 m a.s.l. The floristic similarity between the two extremities of the studied slope was low, showing the importance of the altitude for the species distribution. The epiphytic flora of the Prata Mountain Range presented low similarity with others Atlantic Rainforest communities of Paraná and São Paulo states.

Atlantic Rainforest; montane; submontane; richness; altitudinal gradient

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil